Campaign of the Month: January 2011
Honour Among Thieves
Branson’s Mark is the first moon on Shadow, a planet left devastated and uninhabitable after the Unification War.
Perhaps not surprisingly, Shadow’s fate had a profoundly negative effect on the moons that depended upon it for trade. The populations of Shadow’s three moons melted away during and after the war, and only Summerfair, Shadow’s most outlying satellite, has anything resembling a functioning society.
Branson’s Mark suffered in more ways than one. It has been alleged (but never proven) that the Alliance used experimental weaponry to render Shadow a blackrock, and some of the aftereffects of the bombardment caused rapid, unanticipated changes to the climate of Branson’s Mark. In particular, it has been theorized that Shadow’s destruction caused damage to the moon’s magnetic field, altering the troposphere in ways that the terraformers could not have anticipated.
These claims have not been verified by the Alliance, nor given any credence whatsoever by the mainstream media, but the fact of the matter is that Branson’s Mark is now home to some of the most devastating cyclonic storms in the ’Verse.
The terraforming consortium intended for Branson’s Mark to be similar in climate and topography to Pelorum, home to lush, tropical island getaways. Many a Shadow cattle baron established private seaside and island estates, and tourism became a major industry alongside fishing for the moon’s residents.
More than 90 per cent of the moon’s surface is covered by ocean, with countless small atolls dotting the seas. Unfortunately for Branson’s Mark, once the hurricanes got themselves going, there was simply not enough landmass in their path to break them up.
After more than seven years of heavy weather, only a handful of holdouts remain on the moon, slightly more than 1300 people at last count. They have retreated from the moon’s tropical regions and live in isolated pockets at the poles. They still make a living from fishing. Tourism, not so much.
Locations of Note